For years, I’ve been watching Alzheimer’s take away someone very special to me. Grandma O’Neil is the women who taught me how to sass like no other and to dance like no one is watching. A hard-working woman who did everything she could to support her family, she is the reason I am volunteering and walking to end this terrible disease.
My dad exemplified loving kindness and generosity. His love for our mom and four children taught us to value life by treating others with respect and dignity.
I walk for my father, Birch and for my sons, Forest and Randolph.
As I write this at 2:00 am I am overwhelmed with emotion. We have spent the entire day at doctor’s offices and a trip to the hospital because my father crushed his finger this morning in the car door when we got to daycare. So anxious to get in to see his new friends, he didn’t pay attention to what he was doing. He crushed the tip of his finger, lost his fingernail and had a dozen or so stitches. Bandaged up we left the doctor’s office to have him pull the bandage off in less than 10 minutes. Back for another bandage that didn’t even last an hour. So to the emergency room we went because it wouldn’t stop bleeding. Thankfully they put his finger in a splint so that he can’t remove the bandage.
WEDNESDAY – Well, all good things must come to an end. I’m pointing my purple sneakers south and heading back to Virginia.
For me, 2016 marks ten years of volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Association and specifically, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. I have witnessed lots of changes in those ten years. When I first volunteered as a team captain, my grandmother had been suffering from Alzheimer’s for close to ten years. I got involved with the Walk as a way to fight the disease that was stealing my beloved grandmother. Alzheimer’s ultimately took my grandmother from us completely and sadly, two more family members have also been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
MONDAY Wow – am I learning a lot! Depending on your role in the Association, you may already know these things. But I am finding out not just about AAIC specifically, but about our wonderful organization. For example, did you know: that we have a Conference Services department (small but mighty) that plans and managesContinue reading “Purple Passion Report #2 from AAIC”
I’m here- in beautiful downtown Toronto- on the first full day of the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.
We walk in honor of my mom (Nana) who was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s three years ago at the age of 49.
I walk in honor of my wife, Sharon, who was stricken with Younger Onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2007. Her mother and a mother’s brother died from this rare form of dementia that robs active, productive people of their memory and abilities as young as their forties— or even earlier.